Tulips and crocuses. Robins. Meaningful college basketball games. All of these are classic harbingers of spring, but perhaps the surest sign that spring is here is the annual Eric Chavez comeback story. Hark! There it is!
Mike Gallego has a fun challenge this spring: The A’s infield coach has to turn a Gold Glove third baseman into a competent first baseman. Going from third to first isn’t a snap, as Eric Chavez already has discovered. Gallego has worked with Chavez three days a week since Feb. 1, and it’s coming along slowly . . . If Chavez continues to have good health after his second back surgery,
the plan is that he’ll be a utilityman, playing at third, first, DH and
maybe even at shortstop and the outfield.
I wish I was in A’s camp this week. I’d ask someone from the front office if they’d pick up Chavez’s $12.5 million option for 2011 in the event he makes it as a utilityman.
Nationals’ outfielder Adam Eaton was carried off the field after stumbling over first base on Friday night. In the ninth inning of the Nationals’ 7-5 loss to the Mets, Eaton appeared to catch his ankle on the bag as he ran out an infield single, suffering a leg injury on the fall. He was unable to put pressure on his left leg after the play and required assistance by two of the Nationals’ athletic trainers as he exited the field.
Eaton is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday, but Nationals’ manager Dusty Baker told reporters that it “doesn’t look too good.” It’s the first significant leg injury the outfielder has sustained since 2014, when he went on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring strain. He’ll likely be replaced by Michael Taylor in center field for the next couple of games, though that could be a temporary fix as the Nationals seek a better solution during Eaton’s recovery process.
It’s been just over a week since Giants’ left-hander Madison Bumgarner got a serious scare after a nasty dirt bike accident. He escaped with bruised ribs and a Grade 2 strain of his left shoulder AC joint, but there was some speculation that the injuries would cause a significant, if not permanent, setback in the southpaw’s career. Thankfully, things aren’t looking quite so bleak today. Not only will Bumgarner not require surgery, but he could return as soon as the week following the All-Star break, the Giants said Friday.
Of course, that timeline is wholly dependent on how smoothly the recovery process goes, so nothing is set in stone yet. NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic estimates 2-3 months of rest and rehab, including “two months before he can get back on the mound and then another three to four weeks of throwing and rehab starts before he’s big league-ready.” It’s a long and laborious schedule, but still looks much better than any surgical alternative.
Prior to the accident, Bumgarner was working on a solid start to the 2017 season. He maintained a 3.00 ERA, 1.3 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 through 27 innings with the club, though his average 1.75 runs of support per start fed into an 0-3 record.